In the last year, Episerver's significant investments into its product have truly made it stand out in the competitive CMS landscape. I had high hopes in attending the Ascend conference to see what’s in store for 2017, and it did not disappoint! There was a lot of great information shared at the conference from both IT and Marketing perspectives. The following are my top three takeaways from the conference as well as some points worth considering if you are looking to grow or transform your web presence:
1. Microsoft and Azure: I wrote on this topic recently, but it was impossible to attend this conference and not notice the significant Microsoft influence and collaboration with Episerver. There were several sessions ranging anywhere from using business intelligence, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to services, applications, and hosting.
One huge market differentiator I continue to see from Episerver lies in its lightweight product architecture and ability to make use of all the new applications and services from Microsoft. Even if your site is hosted on-premise, you can take advantage of Azure services in your Episerver solution. I have yet to see another .NET CMS that has this type of flexibility to mix and match features as needed, allowing your site to take advantage of all the latest and greatest features that Microsoft has to offer.
2. Hands-On Training Labs: Ascend had the most lab sessions I have ever seen in a conference. This included 17-hour long lab sessions aimed at both developers and marketers which were run by some of the best Episerver employees and consultants in the industry. Chances are you’re not even aware that Episerver could even be used for all the topics that were available. It was a great introduction to the functionality and awareness of how to handle difficult scenarios for both novice and advanced users of the product alike.
3. Ektron Migration: Many customers are still on the Ektron platform, and while the product is still supported, it is not going to have any major enhancements. With that said, it’s clear that effort has gone into making the migration path to Episerver easier than what could be achieved with other products.
Several sessions I attended addressed different types of Ektron to Episerver migrations, how they tackled the problem, and bumps they encountered along the way. There is no silver bullet to content or product migration, but I would strongly urge anyone looking to move off the Ektron platform to consider Episerver, as there are many commonalities between the two products.
It has never been a more exciting time to be on the Episerver platform, and I am looking forward to attending the conference next year! It remains to be seen how Episerver will package and utilize their acquisitions of Peerius and Optivo, which could greatly influence the direction in which the platform evolves. In the meantime, I plan to make use of many of the tips and tricks learned at the conference and incorporate them in our own development practices. If you are curious about the Episerver platform and wondering if it could be a good fit for your company, contact us to learn more.